Different Types of Running Workouts

Different Types of Running Workouts

If you want to run your best, you’ve got to do a variety of workouts.

There are basic types of runs that are practised by runners of all levels everywhere. These evolved through a global trial-and-error process over many decades. They survived because they work.


Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is continuous training with interval training.[1] Fartlek runs are a very simple form of a long-distance run. Fartlek training “is simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running For some people, this could be a mix of jogging and sprinting, but for beginners, it could be walking with jogging sections added in when possible. A simple example of what a runner would do during a fartlek run is “sprint all out from one light pole to the next, jog to the corner, give a medium effort for a couple of blocks, jog between four light poles and sprint to a stop sign, and so on, for a set total time or distance. The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes Fartlek training is generally associated with running but can include almost any kind of exercise.

Here is an example 50 minute Fartlek workout for my cross country team.

  1. 15 minutes of easy running. (The warm-up run)
  2. 1 minute hard, one-minute easy x 5.
  3. 5 minutes of easy running.
  4. 1 minute hard, one-minute easy x 5.
  5. 10 minutes of easy running. (The cooldown)

Tempo training – also known as Fast Continuous Running, lactate-threshold or anaerobic threshold training.

Tempo runs are great training tools because you run at an effort that feels strong, and you feel stronger and fitter afterwards. The purpose of a tempo workout is to run at a sustained effort to build “speed endurance”—that is, the ability to hold a challenging pace over a longer period of time.

Tempo pace is the effort level at which your body is able to clear as much lactate—a byproduct of burning carbohydrates—as it produces. Your body’s lactate clearance is at the same level as its lactate production

That’s the key difference between a race and a tempo run. In an all-out session, your body bypasses this limit, allowing for fatigue to develop rapidly. A tempo pace, on the other hand, can be held steadily for at least 20 minutes.

Speed Interval

If you want to improve your running speed, then speed interval training is the way to go.

Interval workouts consist of repeated shorter segments of fast running separated by slow jogging or standing recoveries. This format enables a runner to pack faster running into a single workout than he or she could with a single prolonged fast effort to exhaustion.

Here is an example of the speed interval for

2km Warm-up

400meter X 6

2km Cooldown

Hill Repeats

A hill run is a great way to build endurance and speed at the same time. Running them can be tough, but you can get yourself in shape quickly, or improve your current fitness by incorporating the hills in your running routine

Hill repeats are repeated short segments of hard uphill running. They increase aerobic power, high-intensity fatigue resistance, pain tolerance, and run-specific strength. The ideal hill on which to run hill repeats features a steady

Here is an example for hill repeats

  1. Find a hill that isn’t too steep, but around 400-750meters
  2. Run a good warm-up on some flat ground.
  3. Run up the hill at a steady pace after you reach the top. Then you can slow down and go back down the hill.
  4. Jog down the hill nice and easy.
  5. Repeat! It’s up to you to determine how many to run.
  6. Run a cooldown on flat ground.
Long Run

A long run should be a part of every distance runners routine. If you are training consistently (at least three runs per week) add one longer run each week. It doesn’t matter if you are training for the 10km or the marathon, you need to run a slower-paced, longer run once a week.

There are many benefits to running for a longer period of time. Some of these include increases endurance, improves leg strength, burns body fat efficiently, and increases the time you can hold onto a faster pace.

  1. Don’t run too fast! This is by far the most important rule because if you go out too hard, you will be miserable later. The idea of a long run is not to improve your speed. It’s all about endurance. A good check of the pace is by simply seeing if you can talk. We call it conversation pace. If you are just getting in shape, this might sound crazy to you. It’s true though, when you are in decent shape you can actually talk on a run. Also,
  2. Don’t run too far. If your longest run is 10km, then go for 11-12km next week. A safer way to approach a long run is to run for time, not distance. That way you aren’t worried about how many miles you have covered. If you are all about mileage, at least follow the 10% rule. These means don’t increase your distance ran more than 10% each week.
  3. Make sure you are hydrated and have enough energy before the run. You are going to be out there running for a little while, so make sure you have drunk enough water the day of your run. If you run in the morning, drink a lot of water the night before, and eat dinner. You can bring water with you too on a run.